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Frequently Asked Questions

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Dental braces are small devices bonded on your tooth surface. They are used in orthodontics to align and straighten teeth and help position them not only with regard to a person’s bite, but also to improve dental health. Braces also fix gaps. They are often used to correct underbites, as well as malocclusions, overbites, open bites, deep bites, cross bites, crooked teeth, and various other flaws of the teeth and jaw. Braces can be either cosmetic or structural. Dental braces are often used in conjunction with other orthodontic appliances to help widen the palate or jaws. There are several different types of braces to choose from including:

  • Clear braces
  • Ceramic braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Self-ligating braces
  • Invisible braces
  • Traditional metal braces

An orthodontist is a specialist who receives special training to diagnose overbites, occlusions, misaligned teeth and jaws, and overcrowded mouths.

Dentists have dental degree generalized in dental and oral health. They diagnose and treat diseases affecting teeth and gums. 

Orthodontists have a specialized orthodontics degree in addition to their general dental degree. They are specialists in facial growth, dental development,  occlusion and teeth-jaw alignment.

No. After bonding the braces on your teeth, you may feel a minute discomfort for a couple days until your teeth, gums, cheeks, and mouth get used to your new braces. As you continue your treatment, you will have your regular appointments for adjustments and you may feel some pressure, not pain. That is a result wires and rubber bands putting pressure on your teeth to slowly straighten them.

ALWAYS REMEMBER that, maintaining a healthy oral hygiene is all about technique and time! Making sure that you really give time to clean your teeth and using a proper techniques will give you an awesome experience of having a healthy confident smile. Here are some ways to take care of your teeth while you have your braces on:
  1. Brush your teeth after every meal for at least 5 minutes on each brushing. Using a fine toothbrush with a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste is advisable.
  2. Floss at least once a day or each time you brush your teeth. Make sure your floss goes under your gum to remove the bacteria to avoid inflammation that will lead to gum disease.
  3. Avoid eating foods that will increase the chance of having cavities and gum disease like:
  • Foods high in sugar: cake, soft drinks, ice cream, chocolates, cake cookies, pie
  • Sticky food: caramel, toffee, licorices, tootsie roll, gum, gummy bears (its harder to clean when they sticks to braces or appliances)
  • Hard food: (these foods will break your braces) popcorn, nuts, corn on cob, hard candy, bagels, pizza crust, ribs/chicken wings, hard pretzels, ice cubes, tortilla chips, hard tacos, nachos, seeds. (apples and carrots should be cut in small pieces)

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. About one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.

The duration of orthodontic treatment vary depending on individual circumstances, because every smile responds differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between six to 30 months, but most standard treatments take about 22 months (roughly two years on average).

With braces, you should brush your teeth at least three times a day to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy. Brushing regularly will help remove any food that may be caught between the braces. You should also floss daily to clean in between your braces where your brush isn’t able to reach. Your orthodontist can show you how to properly brush and floss once your braces are placed.

Yes! In fact, it is even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentists regularly. A person with braces is more prone to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease because bacteria builds up to some areas where toothbrush can’t reach. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

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